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What Erectile Dysfunction Is - And Isn't

    Don't panic GetLusty men, there's nothing wrong with you, or your penis. A failure to perform is not a permanent illness you will suffer from for the rest of your life. For some, it's just a sign that your body and mind are changing, and that you might just need to make some adjustments in your sex life. Take a deep breath, and let Dr. Joel Block ease your worries with his expertise on this delicate matter.

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    What is Erectile Dysfunction (ED)?

    Erectile dysfunction (ED) is the chronic or ongoing failure to get or sustain an erection. A man at any age can fail to achieve a desired erection or lose an erection during lovemaking. In youth, the situation is embarrassing and sometimes confusing. Most men, however, know that the occasional erectile problem is typically linked to fatigue, overconsumption of food or drink, or a relationship issue. At mid-life, a man may read a lot more anpit ED. He may see his future in a single failed erection. How, he, and his partner handle this situation can determine how frequent they will be. As men get older they experience natural and common changes in their sexual response.

    5 things ED isn't?

    #1 You need direct penile stimulation to have an erection, and no longer get an erection just from thinking about sex or seeing your partner in an alluring pose.

    #2 It takes you longer to achieve an erection.

    #3 You require more time to achieve ejaculation. After a period of intercourse, your erection subsides, and after ejaculation, your erection subsides more quickly than when you were younger.

    #4 Your erection isn't as hard as it was when you were a teenager.

    #5 You need more time to recover between ejaculations.

    Now, why does ED happen?

    #1 Natural occurrences

    Such changes are gradual, and you shouldn't be frightened by them. Changing response patterns enable a man to be a better lover than he was because he is now responding at a pace more similar to his partner's.

    Lack of knowledge and refusal to accept the aging process as an erotic opportunity can prevent men from seizing the sexual moment. Anxiety also plays a major role in creating an ED dynamic. If a man misinterprets his responses and becomes anxious about his potency, he will be tense and fearful about lovemaking and may end up making an erectile dysfunction out of a normal occurrence.

    #2 Physical problems 

    Some men do experience erection difficulties that are more serious than the normal changes associated with aging. Psychological factors, ranging from performance and stress issues to intimacy conflicts, can contribute to erection disorders. Physical problems, such as diabetes, vascular disease, and urological and neurological conditions, can also cause ED. Heavy smokers and drinkers may suffer extensive damage to the small blood vessels—including those in the penis—which leads to ED.

    #3 Psychological problems

    For most men, ED stems from a combination of psychological factors that need to be addressed. The best approach is a comprehensive psych-based program like the one found at A simple prescription drug isn't likely to solve the problem.

    When ED is rooted in psychological issues, the cause is likely to be:

    Anger. Unacknowledged and unexpressed anger can sit on the end of a penis and hold it down. As noted in previous chapters, repressed anger, whether at the partner or not, has a devastating effect on sexuality.

    Intimacy conflicts. Maybe your penis is trying to tell you something about the relationship. Conflicts that have been ignored or papered over for years can cause sexual functioning problems now.

    Depression. Libido is often a casualty of depression, even low-level depression, especially if prolonged. Bouts of ED can increase a man’s feelings of discouragement. While antidepressants such as Prozac may lift the depression, they may fail to lift the penis.

    Stress. At midlife a man has to learn stress management or face increasing bouts of ED. When he was young, he could get and maintain an erection in spite of stress. That’s less likely now.

    Worry. Concerns about job security, personal finances, and family issues such as problems with teenage children and aging parents can also create a psychological climate for ED. If a man is feeling powerless in the world, he may convey that message to his penis. Generally, worry and stress are short-term situations. They may result in brief periods of ED that can be overcome in a good relationship.

    Performance anxiety. One occurrence of ED can set up the cycle of failure, anxiety, failure. In fact, performance anxiety is probably the most common contributing, or secondary, psychological cause of ED.

    Joel D. Block, Ph.D., is an award-winning psychologist-excellence in couple therapy-practicing couple and sex therapy on Long Island, New York. Board Certified in Couple therapy by the American Board of Professional Psychology. Dr. Block is a senior psychologist on the staff of the North Shore-Long Island Jewish Medical Center and an Assistant Clinical Professor (Psychology/Psychiatry) at the Hofstra North Shore-LIJ Medical School. For twenty years he was the training supervisor of the Sexuality Center at Long Island-Jewish Medical Center. Dr. Block is the author of over 20 books on Love and Sex, his specialty. Check out for more information.
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